Remember the fuss when the Norwegian women’s beach handball team was fined by the European Handball Federation during a tournament because their players ditched the regulation bikini bottoms in favor of shorts? In response to the charges of blatant sexism (since men were allowed to wear shorts), the EHF has quietly changed its regulations.
The International Handball Federation has responded to widespread accusations of sexism by changing its rules around women’s uniforms to allow bike shorts and tank tops instead of bikini bottoms and crop tops.
At some point over the past month the IHF has quietly altered its regulations for beach handball, which now stipulate that “female athletes must wear short tight pants with a close fit”. Male athletes can still wear regular shorts as long as 10cm above the knee “if not too baggy”.
Female athletes have spoken out against uniform double standards numerous times. Women are required to wear more revealing outfits in several sports, including track and field, beach volleyball and tennis.
In 2011, the Badminton World Federation decreed that women must wear skirts or dresses to play at the elite level in order to help revive flagging interest in women’s badminton.
The new dress codes still seem sexist to me, since they require women to wear ‘short tight pants with a close fit’ while men can wear regular shorts.
I don’t see any reason for any dress code. Players should be allowed to choose team uniforms that enable them to compete at their best while not giving them an unfair advantage over other competitors.